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Decreased Vascular Pulsatility in Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia Measured by Transcranial Color-Coded Duplex Sonography

Authors Ortner M, Hauser C, Schmaderer C, Muggenthaler C, Hapfelmeier A, Sorg C, Diehl-Schmid J, Kurz A, Förstl H, Ikenberg B, Kotliar K, Poppert H, Grimmer T

Received 2 August 2019

Accepted for publication 15 November 2019

Published 20 December 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3487—3499

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S225754

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Marion Ortner,1 Christine Hauser,2 Christoph Schmaderer,2 Claudia Muggenthaler,1 Alexander Hapfelmeier,3 Christian Sorg,1,4 Janine Diehl-Schmid,1 Alexander Kurz,1 Hans Förstl,1 Benno Ikenberg,5 Konstantin Kotliar,6 Holger Poppert,5,7,* Timo Grimmer1,*

1Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Munich, Germany; 2Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Department of Nephrology, Munich, Germany; 3Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Institute for Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Munich, Germany; 4Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, Munich, Germany; 5Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Department of Neurology, Munich, Germany; 6Department of Medical Engineering and Technomathematics, FH Aachen, Jülich, Germany; 7Department of Neurology, Helios Dr. Horst Schmid Kliniken Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Marion Ortner
Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Moehlstr. 26 81675, Muenchen, Germany
Tel +49 89 4140 6463
Fax +49 89 4140 4923
Email marion.ortner@tum.de

Purpose: Impaired paravascular drainage of β-Amyloid (Aβ) has been proposed as a contributing cause for sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as decreased cerebral blood vessel pulsatility and subsequently reduced propulsion in this pathway could lead to the accumulation and deposition of Aβ in the brain. Therefore, we hypothesized that there is an increased impairment in pulsatility across AD spectrum.
Patients and Methods: Using transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (TCCS) the resistance and pulsatility index (RI; PI) of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) in healthy controls (HC, n=14) and patients with AD dementia (ADD, n=12) were measured. In a second step, we extended the sample by adding patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stratified by the presence (MCI-AD, n=8) or absence of biomarkers (MCI-nonAD, n=8) indicative for underlying AD pathology, and compared RI and PI across the groups. To control for atherosclerosis as a confounder, we measured the arteriolar-venular-ratio of retinal vessels.
Results: Left and right RI (p=0.020; p=0.027) and left PI (p=0.034) differed between HC and ADD controlled for atherosclerosis with AUCs of 0.776, 0.763, and 0.718, respectively. The RI and PI of MCI-AD tended towards ADD, of MCI-nonAD towards HC, respectively. RIs and PIs were associated with disease severity (p=0.010, p=0.023).
Conclusion: Our results strengthen the hypothesis that impaired pulsatility could cause impaired amyloid clearance from the brain and thereby might contribute to the development of AD. However, further studies considering other factors possibly influencing amyloid clearance as well as larger sample sizes are needed.

Keywords: pulsatility index, PI, resistance index, RI, biomarker, mild cognitive impairment, MCI, Alzheimer’s dementia

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